FIRST!, I’d like to say that I definitely feel a lot of pressure sitting here typing out my thoughts. This site produces some amazing and entertaining posts that often have me captivated for hours. So far the most entertaining thing I have contributed was a “FIRST!” comment on a game thread that has been referenced in other posts and comment threads for weeks morphing a DisplacedChief into a DisplacedAPer heel even before getting started. My naive understanding of internet communities ballooned with one comment. A comment sparked by a steady flow of cheap beer and game time excitement. I didn’t realize that one simple word could be the equivalent to handing out chocolate covered turds to the senior citizens’ home. I also didn’t realize that intending to defend myself would warrant threats of banishment while other comments, clearly breaking the rule #1 no insult policy would receive green stained award banners. “We, don’t do that here...” How do you see the computer screen with your nose so high in the air? AP; Arrowhead Pride or Arrogant and Pompous? But all things aside, I’ve decided to embrace my displacement and unintentional heel persona and hopefully over time become a loveable heel of underutilized fandom – a clucky segway into my point. My first post is centered on an issue that will be a huge factor in whether or not the chiefs can significantly make progress in the 2011-12 season – limiting underutilized talent.
I have opinions. Not answers. And I can’t pretend to understand all the X’s and O’s as well as other APers. But, I mean let’s be honest, if any of us actually had the answers, it’d be us standing on the sideline with a clip board and whistle as opposed to huddled around a glowing box. In a league with so many stars, there is no room for wasting talent. On the Chief’s offense there a couple areas that I’ve identified as glaring issues in this regard.
With the addition of Baldwin and Breaston, it was made very clear that McCluster’s stock as a chief WR is all but sunk. This puts him in a very crowded backfield (the most talented backfield in the NFL). McCluster has shown hints of brilliance and in some ways reminds me of Dante Hall, an amazing weapon on special teams but a completely different type of player when thrown into the offense. McCluster needs a role. He needs clarity and consistency – two things that Hall never quite managed to receive in the Chief’s offense. Plus, with the basic removal of kick return, McCluster’s need to be utilized offensively is even more important. If he’s not utilized now, perhaps we lose him or we miss his window of optimal greatness. He needs to get on the field now. The problem then lies, whose carries does he take away? It’d be great if we could run the ball every play but that’s far from realistic. I’d like to see Jones’s carries gradually start to decrease as the year goes on while McCluster becomes more involved and not just thrown into the mix on doomed-before-the-snap “trick” plays. Let him earn a role. With the two speedsters Charles and McCluster sharing carries a need for McClain’s power running could become that final knockout punch that the Chief’s run game needs. Sorry, Jones. I love ya but it is time to get McCluster**cked.
I won’t spend too much time on the next one because it is even more obvious. Gaither! Needs! To play! ‘Nuff said… make it happen.
The Killer B’s have been anything but killer so far this preseason. Elevated WR play is absolutely crucial in the development of this offense. So far Breaston and Baldwin have combined for 4 catches and a bit under 40 yards in three games. These stats are obviously impacted by limited game time and injury but highlight a glaring issue of potential underutilization. With a little help from these two, Bowe could become one of the most dangerous WRs in the league. Just imagine a free and opened up Bowe running around out there… gives me chills. But Cassel forcing it to him whether he’s open or not is far from a solution. Utilizing Baldwin and Breaston is the only way Bowe gets more productive. The game plan can not consist of getting Bowe the ball. The game plan desperately needs to focus upon the other receivers so that Bowe’s role can become a much more natural dominance.
The Chiefs have talent. They can make it happen. But this is where I hand the clipboard back to Haley and take back my seat on the couch. Chiefs FIRST!